Criminal assets worth £213,166.09 have been taken during a Proceeds of Crime confiscation proceeding after a large-scale, international counterfeiting operation was uncovered.
Luton Crown Court on 13 January took the criminal assets from Mr Kin Man Chan after being prosecuted last year by Central Bedfordshire Council for his part in the online counterfeit DVD business. The Court said he had benefitted from criminal activity to the tune of £321,307.89.
Mr Kin Man Chan, 45, of The Highway, Stanmore, London pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply counterfeit goods in 2012 after a joint criminal and financial investigation began in 2010.
Last year’s investigation, undertaken in conjunction with the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), revealed that payments amounting to hundreds of thousands pounds were being made via PayPal to an internet sales website offering film, gaming and music products.
After the proceedings, Councillor Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities, Services at Central Bedfordshire Council said: “This joint investigation by our Trading Standards team and Financial Investigation Unit and FACT has been going on for some time and we’re extremely pleased that together we were able to put a stop to this. We will not tolerate people profiting from crime and hope this puts other people off carrying out this type of illegal activity.”
Kieron Sharp, FACT Director General, added, “Criminals seeking to profit from counterfeiting the creative works of FACT members risk imprisonment as well as seizure of assets obtained through their activities.
“Kin Man Chan was a crucial part of an international criminal organisation that flooded the UK with counterfeit products and returned nothing from his enterprise to content creators or legitimate retailers.
“The work done by the Central Bedfordshire Financial Investigation Unit alongside FACT’s investigators was crucial in identifying the flow of money and the operation of the business.
Criminal activity on this scale threatens the livelihoods of the two million people working in the UK’s creative industries and harms legitimate businesses.”